BOSTON — There was just one fleeting moment when, if a puck had lain flat on the ice, Game 6 might have begun differently — and perhaps ended that way too.
But it came and went in the blink of an eye.
“The one shot goes off the wall and right to (Henrik Sedin) and just hops on him at the last second,” said Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, whose shot wide of the net in Game 5 had bounced to teammate Max Lapierre for the winning goal.
This had the look of a replay.
“That could be 1-0 the first two minutes of the game (actually, the first 45 seconds), and a different story. So it didn’t feel like we got blown out, just a bad stretch for a couple of minutes in the first period,” said Bieksa, after the Boston Bruins won 5-2 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. Game 7 will be played Wednesday night in Vancouver.
“We had a good chance right off the hop, it jumps over Hank’s stick and they come back and get four in a row there,” said Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider, who replaced Roberto Luongo after the starter let in three goals on the first eight shots. “That’s just kind of how it’s been in this building — they score in spurts. But we had our chances.
“It’s a little stunning, because I really thought we had the right mindset and attitude and were ready to come into this building and play a good road game. And all of a sudden, it just gets away from you like that. Eventually, we were able to get to our game that we wanted to play, but . . . a little late.”
That it ended 5-2 for the Bruins, who outscored Vancouver 17-3 in the three games played in Boston, makes no difference, the Canucks say.
“Doesn’t matter. This isn’t soccer, where it’s aggregate score,” said Schneider, who stopped 30 of the Bruins’ last 32 shots, playing 49:54.
“Yeah, they’ve done the job in their building, we’ve done the job in ours. Clearly we’re both different teams in our own buildings, and this is why we played 82 games: to get home ice advantage for Game 7. This is what all that work was for, and I know we’d much rather play this game at home than on the road.”
“A win’s a win,” said Bieksa. “Us winning on home ice and them winning on home ice is maybe somewhat expected for two teams that rarely play each other in the regular season. It doesn’t matter that they beat us by multiple goals here and we’ve won close ones in (Vancouver) — just gives us more confidence if it’s a close game again.
“It stings right now, but you can’t let it wear on you. It’s Game 7 in Vancouver for the Stanley Cup. It’s everything you dreamed of, as a kid.”
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